TW: Mentions and descriptions of sexual assault, abuse, overdoses, abortion, and child loss
In the newest installment of falsified information about Marilyn Monroe, we have the film Blonde. Released on Netflix this fall, this movie an utter abomination to the name Marilyn Monroe. This movie was so bad, and so unfactual I couldn’t finish it and I’ve watched The Phantom Menace multiple times.
I love Marilyn Monroe. She is such a fascinating figure, and for being so famous she is somehow so overlooked. In life, Marilyn was just an extension of Norma Jeane (her real name) but in death, Marilyn is alive, Norma Jeane is dead.
I have two main problems with Blonde.
A. The rape scene
B. The lies.
In the first twenty minutes of the movie, we watch Marilyn get violently assaulted by a movie producer. While yes Marilyn’s trauma is an important part of her life, that doesn’t mean a movie should capitalize on it and show it without a trigger warning. This scene comes a few minutes after Marilyn’s mom tries to drown her in a scolding hot bathtub (something that did actually happen) and about 30 minutes before the viewer is forced to watch Marilyn tied down to have have a forced, very graphic abortion. This forced abortion never happened.
The abortion thing is possibly the thing that really pisses me off about this movie. Marilyn was pregnant twice in her lifetime. One pregnancy ended due to miscarriage, the other due to an eptopic pregnancy. While yes an abortion is the treatment for an eptopic pregnancy, this is not what we see in Blonde. In Blonde, Marilyn gets pregnant by one of her two lovers whom she is in a polyamarous relationship with (which didn’t happen) and agrees to the abortion. She then changes her mind, but studio executives and doctors forcibly tie her down while she screams for help. In real life, Marilyn wanted nothing more to be a mom. Her friends revealed that she would always say if she could do it all over again, she would take motherhood over fame everytime. Her friends also agree that if she had had a child, she wouldn’t have overdosed on pills that night. It infuriates me that we are making up extra trauma and tragedy in an already horrific story for views and possible academy awards.
Almost every other plot hole in this movie is a lie or a very large stretch of the truth. Take for instance when her former polyamarous lovers show her nudes to her husband at the time, Joe DiMaggio and says if he doesn’t pay up they’ll leak them. Firstly, this never happend, secondly, it romanticizes the abuse done to Marilyn by DiMaggio. Let me explain. After paying up, DiMaggio gets home and proceeds to beat Marilyn. This is the second time in this movie we have been forced to witness DiMaggio beat Marilyn with no warning. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad SOMEONE is finally shining a light on what one of America’s most beloved baseball players did to America’s most beloved actress, but the way they go about it. They make it seem like Marilyn deserved it. While yes, DiMaggio would of thought and would have told Marilyn she deserved the beatings for showing off to much, but the movie should make it clear that she doesn’t. The movie should not seem the side with the abuser even if they are trying not to. If you’re gonna exploit a woman’s trauma for capitalistic gain, don’t make it seem like she deserved said trauma.
I could go on forever about this movie and the misunderstood life of Marilyn Monroe, and I probably will later, but before I go I leave you with one thought. If you wanna gauge your own eyes out, watch Blonde. If you’re sane, don’t.